Volunteer Spotlight, where we celebrate our volunteers
This month, we chatted with Jerri Ann Mills. Jerri Ann has served as the Community Services Coordinator at North Coast Church in Vista since October of 2013. In March, she’ll be leaving California for Virginia where her husband has been offered the prestigious position of Operations Officer of the HMX-1, a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron responsible for the transportation of the President of the United States.
In this interview, Jerri Ann speaks to the importance of community service and the benefits of volunteering.
What do you do in your role of Community Service Coordinator?
Our goal as a ministry is to get our Growth Groups involved in community service. Growth Groups are composed of ten to fifteen people that are either in the same stage of life like Young Marrieds, geographically close to one another, or have a targeted common interest. They are essentially Bible Study groups that study together and volunteer together.
I facilitate our goal of getting our Growth Groups involved by seeking out service opportunities and meeting with non-profit organizations throughout North County. Then by using our weekend’s bulletin, website, and social media we get our Church excited about meeting those needs.
Why do you believe in Community Service?
In a church setting, the Bible tells us to take care of those in need. God commands us to protect and care for orphans and widows in the Bible. So we are called to serve.
On a more personal level, there is something about getting out of your comfort zone and stretching yourself. While the people we serve benefit, it’s often more rewarding to witness the impact on the volunteer. I think volunteerism can be the mechanism where some of our passions and true talents reveal themselves. A lot of people don’t anticipate the change that occurs in them.
Serving can be uncomfortable and it’s hard to take that first step, but it is so rewarding. Serving a meal may turn into a real connection with a person. Volunteering is a way to share with others the gifts we’ve been given. Since God loves us, we show the same love to others.
What has been your biggest takeaway these past two years as Community Service Coordinator?
No matter where you live or where you are, there’s always a need. You just have to be willing to find it. Serving someone in need one time could shape the rest of your life.
Through her work at North Coast Church, Jerri Ann facilitated many wonderful donation drives for Solutions for Change, including a toy drive, wrapping paper drive and winter supply drive. She also coordinated church volunteers for many projects at Solutions for Change and Solutions Farms.